I Became an Author at a Young Age

The Fifth Grade Author

I didn’t intend to be an author. Life gave me hints. When I was in the fifth grade we read little leaflets called “Weekly Readers.” Teachers worked them into the curriculum. I think they had a contest and we all wrote stories. I remember my story to this day.

I have always looked at the whole picture. My brother, twelve years older than me, was a smoker. It troubled me. Even as a kid I knew this wasn’t a good habit. So I wrote a story, sci-fi of all things, about aliens coming from outer space, trying to understand our world. They were intrigued by the tiny white “sticks” that humans lite with a flaming match, puffed on and exhaled smoke. They wondered why so many people seemed to have them in their mouths. After puffing for a while the “stick” burned down to a nub. Then the humans would light up another one.

It was a simple childlike story that expressed my concern about smoking.

One day many weeks later we were in an assembly. I was extremely surprised when I was called to the front and awarded a small bronze Creative Writing metal.

What seems like a lifetime later, I wrote a handbook, Time for Art for the American Printing House for the Blind on using art to teach children with visual impairments. I went on to write articles for magazines and ultimately my personal stories in Living, Learning, Loving, Lessons of Insight and Encouragement on the Path of Motherhood, published in 2015. It wasn’t until 2015 that I considered myself an author.

Little girl writing
Gail Cawley Showalter

I hold a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. I was an educator in regular and special education for twenty years, finishing my professional career as a Braille teacher. I am a Certified Professional Coach with Fowler International Academy.

I married Sam after raising three children as a single mother.

In 2007 I founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, & Empowered. My stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving, Insights and Encouragement on the Path of Motherhood is available for purchase on Amazon.


  1. dolphinwrite · · Reply

    Oh. One more thing. While teaching, there was this one girl who didn’t seem to have strong self-confidence, but we worked on skills and thoughtful lessons. She was in my class for two years and after all, finally decided she wanted to own her own business. When I researched and asked questions, she already knew the answers, and she was looking at various venues. Working 24/7, which startups often require, didn’t scare her, but encouraged her. Be interesting to discover where some of my past students are in a decade or two.

  2. dolphinwrite · · Reply

    I think Anne McCauffrey (sp?) wrote all of her life. Loved those books from the Ribsey series (another author).

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